High-ranking NPA official in CL arrested

SAMAL, Bataan: A former high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP–NPA) in Central Luzon was arrested here late on Wednesday afternoon by elements of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army.

Chief Insp. Emelito dela Cruz, Samal police chief, said Juanito Carabeo, alias Toktok, 62, who is facing three counts of murder, rebellion and arson was nabbed in his house in Barangay San Juan this town after three months of surveillance.

Dela Cruz said Carabeo was an active member of the CPP–NPA for more than 20 years but left the rebel movement when he got paralyzed after he suffered a stroke in December 2016.

He was assistant and later became the secretary of the Regional Medical Staff of the Central Luzon Regional Party Committee of the CPP-NPA.

Carabeo, who admitted he was with the rebel movement from the 1980s to 2016, said his arrest is a chance to lead a new life.

His sister, Luz Punzalan, 60, who was taking care of him, also expressed hope that with his arrest, he can now have a chance to recover.

The former rebel is very frail and can no longer walk. The stroke left him paralyzed on the right foot and arm. He is single and being cared for by his siblings.

He expressed the hope that the stalled peace talks between the National Democratic Front and the government would be resumed so that the revolutionary war can come to an end.

“You ask every NPA and all are for the peace talks. It is a good start to know where the [insurgency]problem starts,” he said.

He also advised the youth being lured into the movement to think about it very well saying life in the mountains is very difficult.

Carabeo said both young and old should always think of the welfare of the country. “Unity among the people is important to solve the problem of society,” he added.

Dela Cruz said Carabeo will be turned over to the court that will issue a commitment order for his detention.

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